Cast announced for TLT/TYCs Charlottes Web

Published 3:42 pm Wednesday, June 16, 2010

July 29, 2010 at the Tryon Fine Arts Center: the curtain opens and there stands a barn in silhouette, and Charlottes Web, the fifth annual production with young actors ages 8 to 12, takes the stage

Jump back to 1952, when children of the world met a wonderful new friend Wilbur, a sweet, energetic young pig who says when hes born, Who am I? Where am I? Ive never been here before. Ive never been anywhere before. Everything seems so strange. But I like itI think.

You see, Wilbur has been born on the Arabel farm, one of 11 piglets in a litter, but Momma Pig only has 10 place settings, so Farmer Arabel decides to kill the runt of the litter Wilbur. But Arabels young daughter Fern begs to raise the little pig as a pet (and you know how fathers give in to loving little daughters). The adventure begins.

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So starts E. B. Whites beloved classic childrens tale Charlottes Web, adapted for the stage by Joseph Robinette. The heroine of the piece is a grey spider named Charlotte who lives in the same barn as Wilbur, and who comforts the lonely young piglet by telling him she will be his friend. In order to avoid Wilburs being fattened up for slaughter, Charlotte concocts an ingenious scheme to get humans to view Wilbur as very, very special, and he becomes the most celebrated pig in the world.

Charlotte doesnt do this alone, of course. She recruits all the barn animals geese, goslings, sheep, lambs, and especially a conniving rat named Templeton, to help promote the little piglet to stardom with the humans farmers, farm visitors, fairgoers, newspaper people.

In the Tryon Little Theater/Tryon Youth Center production, the animals are, of course, played by two-legged actors. Will Costine is cast as Wilbur, Colleen Burke as Charlotte, Scarlett Mosseller as Templeton, Reese Alley as the Goose, Luke Umphlett as the Gander, and as their Goslings Jenna Livers, Zachary Dyer, Caitlin Caudle, Zack Martin, Allie Anderson, Alita Rossen, and Eric Harrelson. Isabella Marino is the Old Sheep, while Ave Marino plays the Little Lamb. Other Animals are played by Kate Padgett, Hannah Watkins, and Landry Edwards. And toward plays end, the Baby Spiders are portrayed by Allie Anderson, Jenna Livers, and Caitlin Caudle.

As for the people: Farmer Arabel is Josh Meng, Mrs. Arabel is Logan Wright, daughter Fern is Katie Shanahan, son Avery is Kyle Gilmore, and hired hand Lurvy is Colin Gillie. Homer Zuckerman, Ferns uncle who buys Wilbur, is being played by Alex Rollins, and his wife by Morgan Plumley. Farm visitors are Samuel Umphlett, Haley Martini, David Lee, Liam Daniels, Rachel Childers, Kinslee Wright, Hannah Watkins, Lexy Krueger, Lily Nelson, Grace Ingram, Vicky Anderson, Kate Swope, Sophie Meng, Alyssa Zuidema, and Evan McCarthy.

Jocelyn Farias is the reporter and Haley Livers the photographer who cover Wilbur and Charlottes amazing web for the newspapers. At the county fair, Grace Ingram is the fair announcer, Evan McCarthy is Henry Fussy, and Alita Rossen is the owner of the pig Uncle. Fairgoers are Vicky Anderson, Lily Nelson, Kinslee Wright, Jocelyn Farias, Jenna Livers, Zachary, Dyer, Haley Livers, Samuel Umphlett, Sophie Meng, Zack Martin, Landry Edwards, Hayley Martini, David Lee, Kate Padgett, Hannah Watkins, Eric Harrelson, Liam Daniels, Lexy Krueger, Rachel Childers, Kate Swope, and Alyssa Zuidema.

And welcoming playgoers at the very start of the play is the chorus: Alex Harrelson, Maren Daniels, and Rhian Alley.

Performances are Thursday and Friday, July 29 and 30 at 8 p.m., followed by matinees Saturday and Sunday, July 31 through August 1 at 3 p.m. The TLT box office opens at the Workshop, 516 South Trade Street, June 23 with tickets for both the youth musical Aida and Charlottes Web. The box office is open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Telephone reservations may be left at any time: 828-859-2466.